Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible

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Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible. Stuttgart: German Bible Society, Haarlem: Bible Society of the Netherlands, 2004. $279.95.

The recent release of the Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible (SESB) is a significant contribution to the use of Bible software for the scholarly study of the Bible in its original languages. Although SESB contains fewer resources than some similarly priced packages, the value of this product lies in the content of its databases. Most significant are the new databases related to textual criticism and the syntactical analysis of the Hebrew text.

Published jointly by the German Bible Society and the Bible Society of the Netherlands, the SESB contains the first electronic version of the textual apparatus for both the Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensia and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. Due to an exclusive license agreement with Libronix, the uniqueness of the SESB as the only Bible software offering a computerized version of these widely used tools is firmly established.

Because the SESB is powered by the Libronix Digital Library System, it shares some basic functionality with the Logos Series X libraries. Users benefit from the expandable and user-friendly nature of this well-designed platform. Like other Libronix products, the SESB is equipped with the capability of unlocking any of the thousands of existing titles. When these titles are unlocked, they are integrated with one another through a series of links. The ease of research grows with each additional title. For example, users can evaluate a text-critical argument in one of the many available commentaries by looking at the evidence in the text itself and by checking Bruce Metzger's commentary on the text without leaving their Bible study software or opening a book. All this information is a mouse click away when the SESB is combined with other available titles for the Libronix platform.

The user-friendly design of this application is evident in its straightforward installation. Upon initial launch of the program, a home page provides enough information for anyone familiar with navigating a web page to get started. Between the Quick Start section of the home page and the printed manual, even those without much experience with Bible software should quickly feel comfortable enough to utilize the basic functionality of this product.

Unlike the other Logos packages, the SESB only includes texts directly related to biblical studies. Complementing the BHS and NA27 are Rahlfs's edition of the LXX and the Biblia Sacra Vulgata. While all the Greek and Hebrew texts utilize morphological tags, the Latin text does not. Available modern translations include five German versions, two English versions (NRSV and NIV), three French versions, three Dutch versions, and one Danish version. In addition to the biblical texts, four dictionaries are provided: the German Bible Society's Worterbuch zum Alien Testament; A GreekEnglish Lexicon on the Septuagint; Kleines Worterbuch zum Neuen Testament; and the United Bible Society's The Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament. …